Spotlight

 

Jerabek Elementary School celebrates a milestone this month by opening its doors for the 30th year. We welcome all past and present Jerabek students, teachers, and staff plus their families and friends to join us on Sunday, Oct. 5, for a 30th Anniversary Celebration. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a special afternoon making more Jerabek history!

The event begins at 2 pm on Jerabek's campus and ends around 6 pm. In addition to bringing your own cooler, the Family Faculty Organization (FFO) will have a variety of food and drinks for sale. You'll also have a chance to purchase anniversary plaques that will be displayed on a Jerabek wall.

Entertainment will feature one of Scripps Ranch's favorite bands, The Heroes, who will perform in their only Scripps Ranch appearance this year! Not only is band leader and drummer Tom Boyd a Scripps Ranch resident, but his twins, Neal and Natasha, graduated from Jerabek in 2006. Arriving fresh from performing in Bermuda, Tom is "excited about coming back to Jerabek!"

Also, a former Jerabek parent is our new principal, Paul Gilroy. A Scripps Ranch resident, Paul's children attended Jerabek before joining him at Dingeman Elementary School when he taught there. We'll miss Paul at the picnic as he and his family will be watching his college senior daughter play one of her last field hockey games in Ohio. Go Redhawks!

According to archives, Chauncy I. Jerabek Elementary School officially opened to 305 students in the fall of 1978. The $3 million educational complex, designed by architect Robert Platt, consisted of three classroom buildings with six teaching sections, an administration area, and a structure housing the auditorium and media center. It spanned about 41,000 square feet. Construction included a then-sophisticated computerized energy system--including solar panels, diesel generators, and a weather station to determine when and where heating and cooling was needed.

Chauncy I. Jerabek (pictured below), a city horticulturist and gardener to the Scripps family, was present at the opening ceremonies and proudly cut the ribbon on the gates of his namesake school. Mr. Jerabek, who passed away soon afterward, was hired by the Scripps family to plant eucalyptus trees not only in hopes of beautifying what was originally a barren, desert-like area but also to supply lumber for railroad ties. The eucalyptus trees ended up being too soft for railroad ties, but those eucalyptus groves eventually became his legacy and the signature symbol of Scripps Ranch.

Currently, Jerabek has about 830 students and 50 educators. Our campus now includes several bungalows in addition to the original buildings, an athletic field, and a before- and after-school program area. What a difference 30 years makes!

Jerabek has had some longterm teachers from that opening year who also saw it go from a traditional schedule to Scripps Ranch's only year-round school. Mrs. Wible retired in 2007, and Mrs. Warren retired this past July. Ms. Wood, currently teaching 5th grade, recalls that opening day, "Feeling incredibly honored to be part of the opening of this brand new school."

Col. Bob Dingeman, who attended opening day, vividly remembers that "Jerabek was the finest and newest school in San Diego." He wrote, "Throughout its 30-year history, Jerabek School has been blessed with outstanding, dedicated principals and devoted faculty members who supervised and abetted the achievement of students. None of this could be possible, however, without the marvelous support that has been provided throughout the 30 years by the parents of Jerabek School."

If you have photos from Jerabek's opening day, please email them to me at [[email protected]] or drop them off at the school office in an envelope with my name on it. We will have a souvenir program printed for this event. To purchase a personal or business ad, please contact me. All Jerabekians--set this day aside in your calendars! For more about this event and other news, visit [www.jerabekweb.com]. See you on Sunday, Oct. 5!

Cynthia Collins, Jerabek's 30th Anniversary Celebration Chair


Scripps Ranch has said goodbye to its beloved librarian of 22 years, Nancy Corbin Assaf. She arrived October 10, 1986, just in time to open our 5,000- square-foot library the next day, and except for a brief stint at the Clairemont Library, she's been with us ever since. At the lavish Opening Ceremony, she celebrated with the avid book readers who had outgrown the Bookmobile.

Having grown up in La Jolla, Nancy was familiar with the Scripps name. Nancy's home was on property formerly owned by Thomas and Nackey (Scripps) Meanley. Nackey was E.W. Scripps's youngest child.

Ellen Browning Scripps, his sister and mentor, built and founded many institutions in La Jolla, including the La Jolla Recreation Center, site of the first public playground in the country and where Nancy's sons learned to play basketball. Today, they both conduct youth basketball programs. Ellen also founded Bishop's School, the high school from which Nancy and her boys graduated.

Nancy took a circuitous route to the Scripps Ranch Library. She attended Occidental College, graduating from the University of Colorado with a master's in English. She then attended New York Teacher's College but returned to San Diego, deciding that the teaching profession was not for her. While exploring career options, she worked for two months at San Diego's Central Library and found her calling. She went on to earn a master's degree in librarianship from the University of Denver.

Through her San Diego Library contacts, she secured a position at the University of Minnesota's Walker Library. She returned home after three years and became serial and acquisitions librarian at the University of California San Diego. After five and a half years, she accepted a job as assistant librarian at American University in Beirut (AUB).

There she met AUB alumnus Wafa Assaf, a Lebanese banker, whom she married 11 months later. She worked in Beirut for six more years. When civil war caused most of the university to shut down in 1975, she and her family--Wafa and their two sons, Kamal, 5, and Bill, 3--went to California.

Nancy took a job with San Diego State University as a reference librarian. After three years, SDSU sent her to North County, where she was coordinator for library services for seven years. In 1984 she earned an M.S. in mass communications from SDSU. She became a public librarian in September 1986.

During her six years at the Scripps Ranch storefront library, Nancy, like most of the community, came down with "new library fever." Seen often in a hard hat at the new site, she joined the community in the planning, groundbreaking, fun, and fundraising. Coming full circle for Nancy, the library is situated on the estate owned by the Thomas and Nackey Scripps Meanley family.

Recently Nancy recalled proud memories at the Scripps Ranch Library: San Diego Public Library's first computer lab, funded by a grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation; the first used bookstore; 10 beautiful stained glass windows purchased with money raised by the community; the Schimmel grand piano; serving as a pilot for Branch Libraries Division in developing guidelines for managing community rooms; hosting Opera Preview lectures; being honored as Team of the Year in supporting the community after the 2003 fires; and, participating in obtaining protection for the historic Meanley Wall and Evans Pond. Most of all, she is happy about the friends, volunteers, and staff she's met, with a special nod to Bob Dingeman.

Nancy's future plans include working on the centennial celebration of Bishop's School, more volunteering with Advocates of Classical Music and League of Women Voters, continuing genealogical research on her family, and an extended visit to Lebanon with Wafa to see friends and family. She may even relieve Wafa of some of the cooking he's been doing during her working years!

The SR Friends of the Library invite you to a party in honor of Nancy on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 3 to 5 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library, of course!

Elinor Reiss